Potential buyers note interest in Tullis Russell

Tullis Russell paper mill
Tullis Russell paper mill

Several potential buyers - that’s the message coming from the administrators handling the affairs of collaped paper manufacturer Tullis Russell.

Joint administrators KPMG say they have had a number of notes of interest from parties worldwide, both for the business and assets as a going concern as well as for individual assets or brand names.

We have been contacted by a number of parties that have expressed an interest in the business

Blair Nimmo, joint administrator

Since directors of the Markinch-based company announced on April 27 that the historic 206-year-old company was being put into administration, with debts of £18.5 million, it has emerged that the company’s bosses had contacted around 70 potential buyers from around the world since October 2014 but had failed to generate interest.

Now, members of KPMG’s team handling the affairs of the stricken paper mill have re-established contact with these parties and have also marketed the business for sale to the wider investor community.

Blair Nimmo, joint administrator, said: “We have been contacted by a number of parties that have expressed an interest in the business, which reflects the company’s long history, strong reputation for high quality products and the high regard in which it was held by its customers and within the industry.

“Nevertheless, there remain a number of challenges to overcome should a purchaser wish to acquire the business and assets and recommence paper manufacturing.

“We have set an initial closing date for indicative offers for the business and assets for noon on Monday, May 18 after which we will be better able to assess the level of interest.

“In the meantime, we would like to thank the company’s staff for their ongoing assistance.”

Meanwhile 368 Tullis Russell employees attended a support event in Glenrothes yesterday.

The Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) event, organised as part of the Scottish Government’s £6 million emergency fund to support the workforce, brought together 45 exhibitors including 25 employers.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney, who along with Fife Council leader David Ross is co-chairing a taskforce set up to co-ordinate support for employees, 325 of which were made redundant last week, said the even had been “encouraging”.

“I want to be very clear - this government is committed to doing all it can to support the company, the workforce and the local community at this challenging time, and we are working closely with Fife Council in doing so,” said Mr Swinney.

“We will leave no stone unturned and that is why we are focusing all efforts on identifying a buyer, securing a future for the Glenrothes site, and supporting employees.

“The Scottish Government is acting fast to do what we can to support the Tullis Russell workforce through this very anxious time.

“The potential impact to the wider community cannot be underestimated. The Scottish Government has committed an initial £6 million to support the work of a taskforce set up jointly with Fife Council to help mitigate the impact of job losses.”